Monday, August 14, 2006

Treasure Hunters: Not So Amazing

Tonight is the next-to-last episode of NBC's "Treasure Hunters," a mix of "The Amazing Race" meets "The Da Vinci Code."

For a series that had a lot of promise in the premise, it's fallen short of any expectations I've had for it. For one thing, none of these teams came up with much of a personality. (Personally, I was rooting for the Miss USAs, but they got knocked out).

Basically, the show involves teams of three solving puzzles which leads them to key clues that eventually lead to a great treasure. The ideas involved are reminiscent of the movie "National Treasure" which had our founding fathers hiding clues to treasure in key items like the Declaration of Independence.

"The Amazing Race" is a much superior show. Though there is a bit of a sameness to each episode of each season, the producers do a good job of finding teams with some personality, and you do find yourself rooting for or against specific teams. With a couple of exceptions, karma has done a good job picking the right Race winners in the past.

"The Amazing Race" has won multiple Emmys and has become the standard for reality game shows. It will be interesting to see if "Treasure Hunters" sticks around as long.

BEST BET: If for some reason you aren't catching TV's coolest show, "Life on Mars" (BBC-America, 10 p.m.), you can catch a couple of re-runs of TV's suavest show, "Hustle" (incidentally made by the same producers) starting at 8 p.m. on AMC. This wonderful cast, led by Robert Vaughn and Adrian Lester ("Primary Colors") routinely pulls off the most absurd capers imaginable, all with panache and a wink. After the two episodes of "Hustle," AMC is appropriately running "The Sting."

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